Worst Pruning Mistakes Made by Homeowners

March 19, 2019 12:31 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Tree trimming and tree pruning in Mount Airy, MD are essential parts of regular tree care. Whether you have one or many trees on your property, you’ll want to make sure you’re paying them all equal attention and giving them a trim to keep them healthy.

However, an untrained professional pruning a tree has the capacity to make a lot of damaging mistakes during the process. When you prune your trees, it’s essential to be mindful of the correct methods and take great care to avoid permanently damaging your tree’s structure.

Here are some of the top pruning mistakes homeowners make while pruning and how to avoid them.

Pruning the top

Pruning straight off the top, or “topping” the tree, is one of the most common pruning mistakes made by homeowners. Tree height is a problem for many people, whether it obstructs a view or gets into power lines, so they often try to reduce it by trimming branches directly off the top of the tree.

Not only will this alter the structure of the tree, but it will stimulate the growth of less structurally sound branches. The original branches will never recover, permanently damaging your tree.

Pruning at the wrong time

Pruning at the wrong time is another common mistake. You can’t just prune your tree whenever you want and expect it to grow back healthily.

Most trees should be pruned while they are dormant in the winter or early spring, but the correct time to prune ultimately depends on the tree’s species and the region you live in. If you aren’t sure, consult an arborist in Mount Airy, MD for assistance.

Cutting off large branches

During tree trimming in Mount Airy, MD, you should never cut off a branch that is larger than two or three inches in diameter. This is because trees must heal from these cuts, and the larger the cut, the more difficult it becomes to heal.

By cutting off larger branches and creating big wounds on the tree, you increase your tree’s risk of internal decay. Additionally, you never want to cut branches off very close to the trunk for the same reason.


Getting carried away while pruning can lead to you cutting too much healthy wood off your tree, potentially causing structural damage. Pruning too much of the tree can deprive it of nutrients and actually cause it to get sick and die.

You should only prune up to 20 percent of your tree, but much less is usually all that is needed.

Not consulting an arborist

Finally, one of the biggest mistakes you can make when tending to your trees is not talking to an experienced arborist in Mount Airy, MD. Arborists are trained tree care professionals who can provide excellent guidance for tree trimming and pruning so your tree stays healthy and strong for many years to come.

If you don’t feel comfortable pruning your tree yourself, hire a professional to do it for you. Stabler Tree & Crane Services offers professional tree pruning in Mount Airy, MD. We also provide a wide array of tree maintenance services, such as trimming, removal, stump grinding and tree planting. Reach out to us today to learn more!

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